As you know, on Friday the Department of Public Health recommended approval of Boston Children's Hospital's proposed $1B expansion project. Now, the DPH's Public Health Council is slated to vote on the project on October 20th, representing the final regulatory hurdle that the hospital needs to clear before beginning the project.
However, the Ten Taxpayer Group's lawsuit is still pending and hospital officials have indicated in court that they would not proceed with construction while the lawsuit is pending.
A Boston Herald article published on Saturday, "Prouty backers cry foul on DPH," took a critical look at the recommended approval. From the article:
Members of an advocacy group attempting to block Boston Children’s Hospital’s $1 billion planned expansion said the state’s recent recommendation to approve those plans is ill-informed, based on skewed information from the hospital itself.
“In effect, the staff has relied on what the hospital provided while giving no weight to outside experts,” said Greg McGregor, lead counsel for the Ten Taxpayer Group and Friends of Prouty Garden, the group working to stop the expansion.
He added that the Department of Public Health recommendation was a “whitewash” of issues raised by the group.
The full Herald article may be read here.
In addition, there was a balanced piece on WBUR.org by Lynn Jolicoeur, which may be read here. As noted in that article, there was a critical lack of testing of the assumptions made by BCH in it's application, as the DPH itself noted in its report. And, in its application, BCH did not make clear the basis for its projections.
But the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission did its own analysis. Here's what the article says about that:
This week, however, the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission, the independent state agency charged with keeping costs in check in accordance with the health care cost containment law, concluded its own analysis that determined the project will result in an increase in health care costs of about $8 to $18 million per year. Commission Chairman Stuart Altman said that's partly because the new clinical space would likely draw patients to Children's Hospital from lower-cost pediatric hospitals, including Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center and MassGeneral Hospital for Children.
So, what does this all mean for the Prouty Garden?
We are still working hard to save the Prouty Garden and will be kicking our advocacy into high gear in advance of the Public Health Council vote. Please stay tuned. As we dig deep to try to save the beloved Prouty, we need all the support we can get!
If you would like to donate to our cause, we have a new way for you to do so. Check and cash donations may be mailed to us c/o "Friends of the Prouty Garden, Inc", PO Box 550032, N. Waltham, MA, 02455.
As always, we still welcome your donations via GoFundMe: https://www.gofundme.com/saveprouty.